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Didn't think a Trio (jazz) gig would be so nice..

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by bobbykokinos, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. I play in a jazz quartet. Sax, guitar, drums, electric/upright bass. I don't mind a trio with the guitarist (minus the sax) because I always have the chords behind me for soloing plus its a "multiphonic" instrument, unlike sax. Well, our guitarest couldnt make the gig tonight so it was just was sax, drums, upright tonight. To be honest, I normally don't get nervous before gigs, but tonight I was a bit skeptical about how it would go because I wouldnt have that chordal support behind me which I think helps alot.

    Much to my surpise, the gig went off GREAT tonight. Actually, I feel that it may have been a bit more musical without the guitarist. More opening space to fill in things. My intonation was a bit rough the few songs. But, I think without the guitarist, it made me pay attention to myself more and my intionation set in..

    Has anyone else been in a situation like this and experienced it?

    Obviously, the norm is to always have a chordal type instrument in the band, but without one tonight, it was quite a learning experience. The rest of the guys in the band agreed that tonight was fantastic..
  2. I did a trio with sax and drums once. It's fun trying to run around all over that much musical space.
  3. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    I have never done a whole gig this way, but there were a few times at acoustic type gigs (playing my electric 4 with other acoustic instruments) that I played a bunch of songs (including a few jazz standards) with just myself and a singer. Talk about feeling exposed!!!! Great experience, but nerve racking.

    I am actually in the process of putting together a trio with that singer and a flute player to do standards and such.

    I really like the feeling of space without the chording instrument. The song really opens up and breathes, everyone has room to put in anything they feel at the moment, and it keeps you very honest, cause you can't hide behind anyone else's part if you are unsure or lost! Also, there are certain songs or parts of songs that I get to play chordally on my bass, and that is VERY rare for me unless I am noodling on my own. Of course on an upright, chording would probably not really fly, but...

    Anyway, babble off...
  4. The best part is that there's nobody to mess up your substitutions. You can practically play random notes as long as you resolve them at some point.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    I like gigs like that. I've done a fairly regular gig with sax, piano and bass. I also like when the drummer for the rock band can't make it. We go without or get a hand drummer to fill in. I love that sound.

  6. What's a hand drummer?
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Cool! I've done a bunch of gigs with just bass and a drummer, and I enjoy that quite a bit. It's definitely not trad jazz though. We did violin/drums/bass for a few years before we went to the duo format, and I never missed a chordal instrument a bit. A sax/bass/drums trio is next on my agenda, and I'm sure that'll be fun too.

    I now normally play in a standards trio with keys and a female vocalist who plays flute and hand percussion (conga, bongos, etc.). I love playing jazz without a drummer; it works especially well for the super-low volume gigs.
  8. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I've jammed with a sax and a drummer, but never gigged as that kind of trio beofre. The quartet I'm in right now includes a sax guitar and drums, maybe that situation will arise where we will have to gig without the guitarist one night. Sounds like a challenging thing.
  9. Ben Vail

    Ben Vail

    Jul 29, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I did a private christmas party gig with that instrumentation... sax bass drums... Doing mostly standards, some lame christmas stuff, and then some hand chosen favorites. I love not having to worry about the keys/guitar (I play in younger bands - highschool/college---) and sometimes I find myself making sure the keyboard player hit the bridge - rather than just playing.
  10. Cristofre


    Jul 8, 2004
    Georgia, USA
    I like playing in small groups, I've played rock in three piece bands for ever and I always enjoyed the challenge of keeping things chugging along while the guitarist was doing his very frequent solos.

    Lately I've been playing upright in a folk-rockgrass group (I don't know what the genre would be really) and It seems to be quite regular for me and the guitarist to play by ourselves and It actually sounds very good when the other guys are not playing... hmmm, maybe we should dump the deadwood...

    One of my favorite bands is .. well was, The Inbreds, (they broke up) A Canadian bass guitar / Drums duo.
  11. +1. What's a Hand Drummer??????????????
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Nobody answered this yet? Hand drummer= congas/bongos/djembe/dumbek

    Nuther way of saying "percussionist", but since a kit or a marimba are also percussion instruments, it has a little more specificity...
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